USC School Social Work CIR at Blogworld 2010


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Alice Kim from the USC School of Social Work Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans and Military Families (CIR) presented this overview at the 2010 BlogWorld Expo #milblog track.

This presentation gives an overview of USC's Master's in Social work program, the first curriculum with a military track at a large research institution. Recently the USC School of Social work launched the Virtual Academic Center to deliver the MSW online through an innovative learning management system combined with extensive fieldwork.

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  • Good Afternoon! I’m very excited to be here today.My name is Alice Kim. I am the Project Manager of the USC School of Social Work’s Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans and Military Families, or CIR, as we call it. At USC, and particularly at the School of Social Work, there has been a growing interest in serving the military community, be they military service members, veterans, or military families. I was invited to talk to you today, in order to share some of the exciting things that we’ve been working on, specifically in the fields of mental health and technology.
  • So, just a little about the USC School of Social Work. The USC School of Social has been ranked as a top 10social work graduate program by U.S. News and World Reportand offers an outstanding education for those that choose to enter the field ofsocial work. USC School of social work is also: the oldest MSW program in the West and largest numberof specializationsAmong the nation's top three facilitiesin research funding with more than $25 million And,The only school in the nation with a military social work curriculum track
  • So why the focus on military social work? Usually when we give presentations on our work, we begin by setting up the context and the problem. I think this crowd, however, being military bloggers - you have perhaps a more intimate understanding of the context and issues that returning veterans and their families face.
  • I’m sure that you are aware that OEF and OIF have turned out to be very different from past wars. For example, we know now that of the 1.9 million service memberswho will have participated in the current combat,for every 8 men or women injured, only 1 will die.This is in comparison to WWII, during which for every 2 men injured, only one survived.However, while the death toll has been lower in the current combat, the injuries they are receivingare greater and differentfrom any other warin this century.
  • We have also come to recognize that there are considerableInvisible wounds of war.Studies have shown that perhaps as many as 500,000 men and women, about 1/3 , will come home with combat stress disorders like persistent depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and anxiety. We’ve also seen high rates of suicides in the Marines and the Army, divorce, substance abuse, and domestic violence. Factors that may contribute to these problems are: Multipledeployments,Large numbers of reservists and Guard members suddenly summoned , and often returning to a less than supportive communityA detached American public that is not that aware of what servicemembers are experiencing abroad
  • It has also become painfully evident that there is a serious shortage of qualified social workers, counselors, therapists, and mental health providers who are well prepared and qualified to address the needs of servicemembers and their families. According to recent reports from RAND and the DoD Mental Health Task Force ,those social workers and psychologists who have been engaged by the VeteransAdministration and the Uniformed services Have proven to be less effectual than needed.Particularly among civilian mental health professionals, few had been trained to treat combat stress disorders.Relatively few used the most effective clinical treatments.Even in the VA, some continue to rely on interventions that had not changed since World War II.
  • So this is why USC felt it was so important to create a program that would be specifically designed to address this shortage of trained clinicians.   As I mentioned earlier, it’s the first military specialization in a graduate social work program, in a major civilian research institution.  All of the faculty hired for the military social work program has military experience or has worked extensively with military families.Most have deployment experience.
  •  We have locations in San Diego and Orange County, which are within close proximity to military bases and hospitals.We have also joined the Yellow Ribbon program that allows veterans or their family members to attend our MSW degree program with the new GI Bill. However, the GI Bill only covers HALF of the cost, so our Dean provides scholarship support to cover HALF of the difference and then the VA covers the remaining HALF.
  • Based on the pressing need for well-trained mental health professionals right now, our goals are to:Rapidly increase capacity and competence of those interested in becoming clinicians for military populations, as well as those professionals who are currently practicing, but need to further build their skillsBreadth – Not only to focus on Los Angeles and Southern California, but to be able to train students and therapists anywhere in the world Effectiveness – to revolutionize the way students and therapists are taught, so that they are being trained using the most effective tools out there. This includes proven evidence-based practices, currently and relevant research, and cutting edge technology.
  • How are we doing that? MSW subconcentration - 4 specialized coursesMilitary CultureClinical Practices with Service Members and Veterans
  • Clinical Practice with Military FamiliesHealth Challenges for Returning Veterans and their FamiliesIn addition to the MSW program, we will also be offering a 45-hour online certificate course. For mental health providers currently working with, or interested in working with, military populations.Certificate will be through USC Launch in April 2011
  • In addition to the traditional, “on ground” MSW program, which is offered on our various campuses, USC recently partnered with 2tor to develop the Virtual Academic Center., which is the full MSW degree available online. Launched on October 4th.Currently we have 80 students enrolled--47 full-time and 23 pt.-time. And rapidly growing.
  • Full MSW program, offered through a combination of asynchronous and synchronous coursework. Asynchronous – students login in on their own time to complete assignments, get readings, respond to ongoing discussion boards, etc. Synchronous – students and professors are conducting class during live time. The 45 hour certificate will also be offered via this online platform.
  • Another exciting thing that we are doing is through a partnership with USC Institute for Creative Technologies, which is funded by grants from the Department of Defense. ICT has been doing a lot of work with virtual reality. Some of you may have heard about one of their big projects called Virtual Iraq, which is a virtual reality platform that is designed as a way of treating servicemembers suffering from PTSD and combat stress by immersing them in a very realistic combat scenario. That platform was developed by Skip Rizzo, a psychiatrist at ICT, who is also partnering with the School of Social Work. ICT has also been a world leader in the development of virtual humans and virtual patients. These are computer generated, artificially intelligent avatars that can be used to train clinicians .
  • Through a grant from the Department of Defense, CIR has partnered with ICT to develop the Virtual Patient Training Environment. Will be used to train social workers, mental health providers and clinicians Traditionally graduate students are trained via static case studies, role playing with other students, actors – lots of inaccuracy, or expensive (in the case of actors)Patient that is realistic , accurate, consistent Allows students to practice their interviewing skills in a safe environment, without compromising an actual patient Gives students exposure to a range of scenarios and options, such as clients with certain types of trauma, or presenting problems, or from different rank, military branch, gender, race, etc.Other features:Streaming into classroom Wizard of Oz feature, where teacher can manipulate responses, pause for teachable momentsCan be streamed live anywhere (e.g., SD and Orange county) Will also eventually include an entire Virtual family, so students can practice group dynamics, and group therapy sessions
  • Other types of research going on throug h CIR and the School of Social WorkDoDEA amount - $7.6 MillionSAMHSA - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
  • Contact information. Thank you. Open for questions.
  • USC School Social Work CIR at Blogworld 2010

    1. 1. Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans and Military Families (CIR)<br />
    2. 2. Top-Ranked and CSWE Accredited<br />Oldest MSW Program in the West<br />One of Nation’s Top 3 Research Facilities<br />Only School with Military Social Work Track<br />
    3. 3.
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    9. 9. Goals<br />Rapidly Increase Capacity and Competence<br />Train Students and Therapists anywhere in the world<br />Revolutionize Education<br />
    10. 10. MSW Curriculum & Certificate<br />Military Culture<br /><ul><li>Clinical Practices with Servicemembers and Veterans</li></li></ul><li>Curriculum<br />Clinical Practice with Military Families<br /><ul><li>Health Challenges for Returning Veterans and their Families</li></li></ul><li>Virtual Academic Center<br />
    11. 11. Interactive Online Classroom<br />
    12. 12. Partnership with the USC Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT)<br />
    13. 13. Training Anywhere in the World<br />Virtual Patient<br />Internet<br />Internet<br />Student<br />Teacher<br />
    14. 14. SimCoach: Promoting Healthcare Outreach and Advocacy with Virtual Humans – funded by DoD, partnership with ICT<br />Transforming the Public School Response to Children from Military Families – funded by DoDEA<br />TraumaServices Adaptation (TSA) Center for Resiliency, Hope,and Wellness in Schools – funded by SAMHSA<br />Utilizing Problem-Solving Therapy to Enhance Resilience among Active Service Members and Veterans and their Families<br />Homeless Veterans in Skid Row, Los Angeles: Assessing Needs and Service Use<br />Serving Those Who Serve Us<br />
    15. 15. Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans and Military Families (CIR)<br />USC School of Social Work - Virtual Academic Center<br /><br />USC Institute for Creative Technologies<br /><br />Find us on Twitter: @uscsocialwork<br />Like us on<br />Youtube:<br />Serving Those Who Serve Us<br />